Yesterday I decided to have a movie night on my own and watch a horror (because that is how I usually prefer to watch horrors: alone and in the dark). Hellhole was the one suggesed to me because it was new on Netflix, and when I saw it was European (Polish, to be precise) I knew I wanted to give it a try.
I don’t think there is much to say about this film. It was definitely worth of time. It wasn’t anything mindblowing, but it was good. At times it felt like I was watching a drama, but then again, with all the paranormal things going on, it was definitely horror.
I liked how it took a different look on sanatory and overall it was a good, short movie to pass time. I liked it and although I think the end was a bit dry, I still enjoyed it.
Today I am happy to bring you my review for a horror I read recently and enjoyed very much. It is perfect Halloween read in my opinion.
What Moves the Dead was published on July 12th 2022 by Tor Nightfire and it has 165 pages. I read my own copy of the book.
About the book:
FROM GOODREADS /
What Moves the Dead is Kingfisher’s retelling of Edgar Allan Poe’s classic “The Fall of the House of Usher.”
When Alex Easton, a retired soldier, receives word that their childhood friend Madeline Usher is dying, they race to the ancestral home of the Ushers in the remote countryside of Ruritania.
What they find there is a nightmare of fungal growths and possessed wildlife, surrounding a dark, pulsing lake. Madeline sleepwalks and speaks in strange voices at night, and her brother Roderick is consumed with a mysterious malady of the nerves.
Aided by a redoubtable British mycologist and a baffled American doctor, Alex must unravel the secret of the House of Usher before it consumes them all.
I am going to start this review by fangirling about this cover. Do you see how amazing it is?? Beautiful, hypnotic and creepy at the same time! Honestly, this is my favourite book cover that I have seen in years, and now when I finished the story, I understand it and appreciate it even more!
What Moves the Dead is a retelling of a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe. Which one? I don’t really know. Obviously I didn’t do my research very well, but to me it doesn’t make much difference because the only short story that have read by E.A.P. is Black Cat (In the meantime I learned that the story is called The Fall of the House of Ushers).
But what I did notice is how similar this novel is to Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. They both start with a letter about one sick character where the main character comes to visit, they both have big spooky house, gothic atmosphere, and also… one big thing that plays big part in both stories. Plus, they are both horrors. Of course, me being bad at doing proper research, I don’t know if they are both retelling of the same classic story. Still, it is worth mentioning that T. Kingfisher admitted similarities between her and Moreno-Garcia’s novel in her author’s note.
What Moves the Dead has non binary main character, which I appreciate.
The book is set some time in the past, and it is set in the world that is similar to ours (London, Paris and America are there) but it also has some imaginary places that don’t exist in our world, and also cultures that I’ve never heard about.
It is written in first person, from Alex‘ POV, but as the narrator sometimes talks to us readers, at times it feels like it was written in second person.
The gothic, dark and wet atmosphere was my favourite part. Also, I appreciate how short this novel is. It takes a skill to write something that isn’t too long, but says so much.
This was a buddy read with Amanda and we both liked it. We both also agree that we didn’t fan over big revelation of what caused all this mess, as it made little sense to our contemporary oriented brains.
However, I still very much recommend this book and I will definitely check other work by T. Kingfisher.
Today I bring you my review for the book that I read along with my frineds in our reading club. Lock Every Door was our September pick. I really enjoyed it and am glad to tell you all about it.
This novel was published back in 2019, on July 2nd. It has 381 pages.
About the book:
FROM GOODREADS /
No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.
As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly, disturbingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story—until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.
Searching for the truth about Ingrid’s disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew’s dark past and into the secrets kept within its walls. Her discovery that Ingrid is not the first apartment sitter to go missing at the Bartholomew pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building’s hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent.
Lock Every Door was September pick in the reading club I am a part of. I was so excited because this novel was on my radar ever since it came out. Out of four of us, I think I liked it the best.
Written in first person, the novel is tense and capturing. Jules is a reliable narrator (which was so nice for a change) but what makes this book so good is that you can’t trust absolutely no one but her.
This novel was really something. Now I get why all the hype. The mysterious atmosphere where you feel like you are trapped along with main character but can’t figure out what is happening and can’t get out was the cherry on top in my reading experience.
I also want to mention how this book touches some important topics like poverty and what goes along with it, and I believe no reader can stay calm or cold to it. Some parts were heartbreaking. I do believe stories similar to this one happen in real life and often poor people who have no one to look for them are ones who pay the price.
I remember my friendAmanda and me were afraid that this story would be too similar to Turn of the Key, and now I laugh when I think about it, because those two stories can’t be more different. The only thing they have in common is that they are both very good novels.
The end was good. I like how this whole mystery solved out and what was the story behind the curtain, even though some of my friends who I read this with were disappointed. However, I will admit that I wasn’t satisfied with the very end. In other words, I think justice could have been served better.
Today I decided to post my review for a book I buddy read with my friendAmanda recently. I wanted to read The Turn of the Key ever since it came out and I am so glad I shared this experience with my lovely friend. We both ended up loving it, me little bit more then her.
Turn of the Key was published on August 6th 2019 by Scout Press and it has 337 pages.
About the book:
FROM GOODREADS /
When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.
What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.
Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unravelling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.
It was everything.
She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.
The Turn of the Key was on my tbr ever since it came out. It seems to me that this novel is the most popular out of Ruth Ware’s work (at least in the bookish community) and now, after I read it, I can see why.
This book as a whole was picture perfect to me. The plot was chilly and thrilling, the writing style was unusual and hypnotizing, characters were interesting and the end was everything.
The story is written in second person, following Rowan‘s letters to a lawyer that she wants to represent her in the core. I don’t usually read books written in second person. Not because I don’t like them, but because I find them to be rare. I enjoyed this way of writing and as the author did such a brilliant job to pull me in into her words, I often forgot that I read the letter.
This book was so tense and interesting, with some characters I couldn’t help but suspect and some, and I am little ashamed to admit this, to judge.
There were some plot twist and big revelations, as they often happened in the thrillers. Few of them really surprised me.
The end and the mysterious atmosphere that smelled of unknown were my favourite part of this book. Ruth Ware did amazing job with this idea that she got, and now I hope someone will recognize it and decide to make a movie based on this novel, because I am sure this story would work even better on the screen.
5 stars from me and one big recommendation to all of you!
This week I was in a mood for some horror, as spooky season officially started (but let’s be real, that genre is my favourite and I am in a mood to be scared most of the time). I was happy to see that The Invitation was officially out, because I remember we watched the trailer in the cinema back when we were there to watch Orphan: First Killback in July.
What I noticed after few minutes into the movie was that the trailer we watched back then was not for the same movie as I was watching. At first I thought there were two movies with similar titles that I have mixed, but now I am not so sure. What probably happened was I watched the trailer for a totally different movie, and thought I was watching the one for The Invitation. All I remember about that movie from the trailer is that it was about an exorcism, and that it looked good.
But let’s not talk about that unfortunate misconception, and let’s talk about the movie I actually watched.
The Invitation started as a modern story set in New York, following a young girl who’s role was played by actress named Nathalie Emmanuel, who is best known from Game of Thrones. She was reached out by her long distanced cousin who found her through some DNA finder app, and he invites her to a wedding where all of her long lost relatives would be, to meet them and get to know all of them. She accepts, goes to England to the biggest mansion one can imagine, who’s owner comes from the old money and all that jazz. It all seems too perfect to be real, and as it usually goes, it is.
I loved the first half of the movie. Evie as a character was very likeable, the invitation was fishy so I was curious to see how the Hell will broke loose, and once we got to the part in England it started to get creepy. Characters were shady, the house was cold and mysterious, it’s owner (played by Thomas Doherty) was… you could feel something just wasn’t right.
I liked the turn the story took, but if I am being honest, at some points it was too much that it looked ridiculous.
So all in all, it was a solid horror with first half much better then the second. Would I recommend it? To horror fans, definitely!
GIFTED / Today I am so, so, so happy to bring you my review for a book I read and enjoyed so much. I am so grateful books like this exist and am happy to spread my word about it in hope it will reach as many readers as possible.
The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches was published on August 23rd by Berkley and it has 336 pages. I want to say thank you to Penguin Random House Global for sending me an e-galley of this novel (in an exchange for an honest review).
About the book:
FROM GOODREADS /
As one of the few witches in Britain, Mika Moon knows she has to hide her magic, keep her head down, and stay away from other witches so their powers don’t mingle and draw attention. And as an orphan who lost her parents at a young age and was raised by strangers, she’s used to being alone and she follows the rules…with one exception: an online account, where she posts videos pretending to be a witch. She thinks no one will take it seriously.
But someone does. An unexpected message arrives, begging her to travel to the remote and mysterious Nowhere House to teach three young witches how to control their magic. It breaks all of the rules, but Mika goes anyway, and is immediately tangled up in the lives and secrets of not only her three charges, but also an absent archaeologist, a retired actor, two long-suffering caretakers, and…Jamie. The handsome and prickly librarian of Nowhere House would do anything to protect the children, and as far as he’s concerned, a stranger like Mika is a threat. An irritatingly appealing threat.
As Mika begins to find her place at Nowhere House, the thought of belonging somewhere begins to feel like a real possibility. But magic isn’t the only danger in the world, and when a threat comes knocking at their door, Mika will need to decide whether to risk everything to protect a found family she didn’t know she was looking for….
I simply loved this book. It was perfect read for the fall, and would be excellent one to pick up during October/spooky season. Although The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches is not a spooky book, it is still perfect to read for Halloween, as it’s protagonists are witches (and with witches comes magic).
I am actually glad books like this exist, because they do provide that Halloween mood to readers who aren’t into horrors and gory.
This book was just adorable. It was relaxing, witchy story that talked about family, friends and love, and what is the most important, the relationship one has with themselves.
The story follows Mika who takes a job to teach magic to three little children. There, in the Nowhere House, she finally learns how it feels to belong somewhere and what it’s like to have a family.
The story is written in third person following Mika’s POV, but there were also some parts that followed Jamie, the librarian. As you can assume, Jamie is the love interest and when it comes to romance, this one include grumpy-sunshine trope.
I think the author pictured small circle (of people) vibes so well. It was so easy to get attached to all of the characters, main and the side ones. Holiday scenes in the story were like a warm hug from the author and her characters to us readers, that I appreciate the most.
I highly recommend it to everyone who’s looking for a warm, relaxing, witchy story.
GIFTED / Today I want to talk about a book I finished a month ago, and that was hard for me to review bc while I was typing my words out I got sick. That was my lesson learned not to write while taking a bus ride. The Falling Girls was otherwise a good, entertaining book. It was published on October 5th last year (2021) by Razorbill and today is exactly 1 year since it first hit the shelves. It has 320 pages. I want to thank the team from Penguin Random House Global for sending me an e-galley of this novel (in an exchange for an honest review).
About the book:
FROM GOODREADS /
Shade and Jadis are everything to each other. They share clothes, toothbrushes, and even matching stick-and-poke tattoos. So when Shade unexpectedly joins the cheerleading team, Jadis can hardly recognize who her best friend is becoming.
Shade loves the idea of falling into a group of girls; she loves the discipline it takes to push her body to the limits alongside these athletes . Most of all, Shade finds herself drawn to The Three Chloes–the insufferable trio that rules the squad–including the enigmatic cheer captain whose dark side is as compelling as it is alarming.
Jadis won’t give Shade up so easily, though, and the pull between her old best friend and her new teammates takes a toll on Shade as she tries to forge her own path. So when one of the cheerleaders dies under mysterious circumstances, Shade is determined to get to the bottom of her death. Because she knows Jadis–and if her friend is responsible, doesn’t that mean she is, too?
I went into The Falling Girls without having real expectations. I knew it was a contemporary book with a dark tone, and that part was 100% right. I know this is also generated as a mystery and although it has a mystery inside, I would rather call it a teen drama. In fact, the whole story reminded me of a lifetime movie. Did I love it? Absolutely!
I am an adult who read this novel that is aimed towards teenagers. I am aware that some things I take differently then the appropriate age rang, and maybe my reasons for liking the story are completely different then they would be 15 years ago.
My favourite thing about this book is the exploration of female friendships that can be very unhealthy and how those friendships in teen years define future. I appreciate how the author pictured possessive one on one relationship between friends and how even if it is usually comfortable to bond on such a strong level, it can also be destructive.
The other thing I appreciate is how Hayley Krischer showed us/told us that neglected kids often look for a substitute for absent parents in their friends and how they can become possessive.
The book was written in a simple, entertaining way that was easy to read.
The story was little predictable and the motive behind the crime was a bit stupid, but the author acknowledged it through character conversations, which pleasantly surprised me.
I want to say that I come from a country where cheerleading isn’t a part of the culture and all I know about it is what I learned from the movies. This book made me think how hard and competitive that sport can be and how it’ it’s not appreciated enough.
I enjoyed my time with The Falleng Girls and would recommend it.
GIFTED / Today I want to talk about a book I read back in August. I loved this author’s novel Mexican Gothic so I was excited to be invited to read and review The Daughter of Doctor Moreau. This book was published on July 19th 2022 by Del Rey and it has 306 pages. I want to thank the team from Penguin Random House Global for sending me an e-galley of this novel (in an exchange for an honest review).
About the book:
FROM GOODREADS /
A lavish historical drama reimagining of The Island of Doctor Moreau set against the backdrop of nineteenth-century Mexico.
Carlota Moreau: a young woman, growing up in a distant and luxuriant estate, safe from the conflict and strife of the Yucatán peninsula. The only daughter of either a genius, or a madman.
Montgomery Laughton: a melancholic overseer with a tragic past and a propensity for alcohol. An outcast who assists Dr. Moreau with his scientific experiments, which are financed by the Lizaldes, owners of magnificent haciendas and plentiful coffers.
The hybrids: the fruits of the Doctor’s labor, destined to blindly obey their creator and remain in the shadows. A motley group of part human, part animal monstrosities.
All of them living in a perfectly balanced and static world, which is jolted by the abrupt arrival of Eduardo Lizalde, the charming and careless son of Doctor Moreau’s patron, who will unwittingly begin a dangerous chain reaction.
For Moreau keeps secrets, Carlota has questions, and in the sweltering heat of the jungle, passions may ignite.
The Daughter of Doctor Moreau is both a dazzling historical novel and a daring science fiction journey.
Right after I finished The Daughter of Doctor Moreau my thoughts were a mess and I honestly didn’t know how I felt about the story in whole. I knew I liked Mexican Gothic better than this one, but also those two stories are totally different that it would be unfair to compare them.
Once again, Silvia Moreno-Garcia managed to give the atmosphere a role itself, and the place of the story was unique, well described and easy to imagine.
This historical retelling was told in third person following two perspectives: Carlota’s, who is the daughter of the doctor, and Laughton’s who is an employee. Getting into Laughton’s head was more interesting to me, especially because of his battle with his own demons that made him take the job in this peculiar place.
The only thing that didn’t make much sense to me was the motivation to keep up with the project. At first it was to have free labour from creatures who wouldn’t have human rights (now when the slavery was illegal), but when experiment after experiment failed, one had to wonder why waste all that money on laboratories when it can be used to decently pay people for their work instead?
Overall, this was a good book with some action packed scenes and historical references. I enjoyed it and would recommend it.
Hi Guys! Few days ago I have been thinking how irregular my posts have been this year, and how, this year, it has been more days without anything new written on Book Dust Magic then days when I had something to say. One of the results of me being absent from the blogosphere is my English started to deteriorate and, in all honesty, I hate it.
Therefore, I decided to host Blogtober this month. That means, there will be new posts almost every single day during October. My goal is to keep up with all the book reviews I am behind with (so I can have a clean start in November) and to also improve my English at least a bit. I also want to participate in blogging community now when I finally think I have more time for myself, now when my son is two and a half years old.
So… What can you expect on Book Dust Magic for Blogtober? At least one movie review per week, 2-3 book reviews every week, Sunday Posts every single Sunday and my two cents for at least few shows.
The only thing that will make this not so Halloweenish Blogtober is that I won’t focus on horrors, but on every genre I tend to like. However, there will be some spooky, witchy and gory content for sure.
I am looking forward to share my thoughts with you and am glad to have you here. These next few days I will go through all of the lovely comments that you left me in the last few weeks and will visit all of your blogs too. The new chapter for Book Dust Magic starts now!
Hi Everyone, It has been a while, probably over a month since the last time I wrote something for this blog. There were some scheduled reviews poping up, but I personally wasn’t active anywhere except on Goodreads, and I was pretty unactive there too. The reason for that: I feel like I never have time to just sit and in piece and silence write and read in front of my computer, except in the very late evening when I am too tired to be productive, so I choose to read instead.
Today is Halloween, and I want to bring you my three reviews for the books I read this October. Non of them was given to me in an exchange for review, but all three of them I chose along with my friends because we wanted to give them a try.
Mexican Gothic was an October pick in the book club I am a member of along with other awesome book reviewers, when Cackle and House of Hollows I read along with Amanda from Chocolate Pages, who is also the member of previously mentioned book club.
So in conclusion, Amanda and I read together all of the three books I talk about today, so make sure to visit her BLOG too, to see what she thought about them.
Mexican Gothic took the bookish community by the storm last year when it came out, and if there wasn’t the hype around it I probably wouldn’t pick it up. It’s magnificent cover, although beautiful to look at, didn’t “speak” to me so this time I am thankful for the hype because now I am glad this novel joined my read shelf.
I, just like most of the readers I believe, have certain aspects of the story that are important for me to like the book, character development being in the first place. What I’ve noticed lately is that the atmosphere in the story is slowly getting closer and closer to take that CD aspect from the throne.
And if there is something this book has fully developed, is the atmosphere. Gothic, dark, gray, wet… I could almost smell the damp when I was imagining being in High Place.
One more thing that makes this book special to me is that my favourite character was High Place. Yes, you read it right. The big, cold house has such a strong presence it felt like it was a person itself.
As for other characters, I think our MC Noemi was fully developed and it was clear what was her motive, her reasons to act the way she did, and she was also likeable and the one to look up to.
On the other hand, I think some side characters could have been more developed or at least more presented.
The writing was good and easy to read, but if I am being honest, the story was boringat times and I caught myself yearning for some action, or at least for something to happen.
As we got closer to end and secrets started yo reveal I was little disappointed with the way the story turned, but at the same time I appreciate it because it does make it different from other stories in this genre (here I am mostly comparing it to movies as I am still new to horror genre in written form). My personal opinion is that the movie would be great and I would like to absorb it for the first time in that format, but that ship has sailed, obviously.
In the end, I just want to warn you about some scenes that can be triggering like ones that can remind of sexual abuse, but there is long list on TW for this novel so make sure to check it out. I don’t always recognize them, as they are personal to each reader, but I would say TW: sexual abuse, racism, substance addiction, and also some graphic and gory scenes.
I decided to give Mexican Gothic 3,75 stars because although it was good and I can’t find it many flows except maybe being too slow at times, it just didn’t wow me to give it a higher rating.
Let’s make one thing clear: 👏This is not a thriller! This is not a horror! 👏 To be a thriller, it has to play with your (or at least the MC’s) mind, to be a horror, it has to have at least one character dead/murdered (or in danger of the same) and at least one gory scene.
(Not) Sorry to spoil you, but this has non of that.
This is cozy women’s fiction with paranormal (witchy, perfect for Halloween) elements that can also be categorized as feminist novel and that is it!!
It was weird, I’ll give it that, but it is definitely not disturbing (unless you hate spiders, who are here pets because why not throw something childish and unnecessary to make it unique)!
So yeah, if you consider Twilight a horror because it has vampires as characters, then this is the horror/thriller for you. If you are looking for thrilling book that will keep you at the edge of your sit, this is not a book for you.
This is cozy, slow paced book, perfect for readers who are looking something to read for Halloween, but instead of being scared, they want to be relaxed.
It was entertaining, with characters interesting enough, and easy to read writing style. It is written in first person.
I could spend my time overanalyzing the novel, telling you how Annie reminded me of my own friend which made me care for her on a higher level, how in my mind Sophie looks like Megan Fox, how I loved Sam and am sorry the writer ruined his character even though I understand why she did it, how I think cat would work way better then the spider and how absurd it was for MC to take everything like it was even though no sane person would do it. I could also tell you how I really enjoyed the atmosphere and my friend Amanda who I buddy read this with, and me, we had great time and how this book was exactly what we both needed after finishing Mexican Gothic, but I won’t bore you more then necessary.
I will just recommend this novel to everyone who are looking for cozy autumn book with witchy/Halloween elements.
House of Hollow
As soon as I saw the cover for House of Hollows I knew I had to read it. The design reminds me of Horrid and Wilder Girls, books I both enjoyed so much, and I have a theory that covers like this keep weird and brilliant stories between the pages. This book proves my theory right!
The story is narrated by Iris, the youngest of the three sisters who disappeared one night and came back one month later not knowing where they’ve been, and clueless about the truth about what happened to them.
The story is written in first person, easy to follow and fast paced from the very beginning. In fact, it was so fast paced at times that I was lost for moments (that often happens to me in fighting scenes).
Once again, my favourite part of the story was the atmosphere. I noticed that that aspect in storytelling became of huge importance for me, so I loved this book for it.
I can’t say much about the world or things that happened, because I don’t know where is the line between reviewing and spoiling in this particular case, but I will say that my bets are the author found some inspiration in the movie Insidious.
The characters were all presented very well, and I love how the author played the game of good guy/bad guy masquerade. I would tell you who’s side I was on, but then I would spoil you, so I’ll keep my mouth shout (or my fingers reserved, I should say).
The epilogue was the only part I didn’t like, as I find it unnecessary.
I should also mention I shared this reading experience with my friend Amanda, who I’m buddy reading so often lately, we should call ourselves bookish sisters. She is not the one to pick fantasy, paranormal or ya on her own, but she really enjoyed this book too, so that says something, right?
In conclusion, I am sooooooo glad I’ve read this novel. It was perfect Halloween/October choice and I recommend it to everyone who is searching something spooky.