You know, I like to think I have a healthy lust for blood when it comes to my fiction. I love a good fictional bloodbath – emphasis on fictional, but still who doesn’t love a good Saw-style decimation? Does everyone die? Consider me there. Is it gory? Give it to me now. Are there major character deaths that I will struggle to recover from? Straight to the vein. Really, I’m just trying to chase the emotional highs from the red wedding in Game of Thrones. I don’t want peace, only problems. This list is for me. You’re just here as a witness.
Everybody dies. And before you freak out, no, it’s not a spoiler because it happens in the prologue. And okay, fine, not everybody dies. Everybody dies except our main character Signa, and she’s only an infant at the time. Thus begins this glorious and enchanting gothic tale of romance and intrigue. In the following years, Signa is haunted by Death himself and her ability to see ghosts. She has moved from home to home as each of her family members have met untimely ends. Her final living family are the Hawthornes. But as she joins them in their gloomy and glittering estate, one of her cousins is deathly ill and Signa fears Death has followed her. Or could it be… poison? Signa will have to team up with her long-time enemy if she is to save her cousin. But nothing is quite as it seems, not even Death himself…
I asked for blood and Mara Fitzgerald delivered in BUCKETS. This bizarre gothic thrill ride has everything you could possibly want: evil socialites, eldritch magic, gallons of gore! Emanuela Ragno is our dubious main character – a lady used to getting everything she wants and doing whatever it takes to achieve her goals. You cross her at your own peril. But then the watercrea, the mysterious creature who takes the blood from people to turn it into the city’s only water source, targets Emanuela just as her social schemes are coming to fruition. Let’s just say things rapidly go off the rails! I could not for the life of me have predicted where this book was going from start to finish, and I loved every second of it! It was absolute madness and I cannot recommend it highly enough! Emanuela is decidedly bad, perhaps even irredeemably evil, but gosh is it fun to watch!
It’s vampires people! Holly Black vampires! And boy did she deliver, giving us a glittering dark underworld full of decadent vampires living in the modern age of live-streaming and reality tv. They congregate with the infected in Coldtowns – quarantined cities where anything goes, save for escape. When Tana awakes the evening after a raucous but fairly normal high-school party, she’s expecting a hangover and maybe some embarrassing stories. Instead she finds corpses, everyone slaughtered save her endearing and conniving ex-boyfriend and a mysterious stranger with secrets at his back. In a race against time, Tana will have to do the impossible to save them: enter the heart of Coldtown itself and pray that she can get back out again.
None Shall Sleep is for those of us who wish Mindhunter had another season, or simply cannot get enough of Hannibal. It’s a serial killer drama that dives deep into mind of murders and those who seek to stop them. It’s propulsive, compelling, and quite frankly un-put-downable! And I won’t spoil anything other than to say the explosive finale will leave you breathless and terrified – I know I was!
Look, all I can say about this one is that it’s truly and properly unhinged. It’s an absolute treat and a bonkers good time. Did I know where this was going? Absolutely I did not. Nothing could have prepared me. I was not ready. But honestly, that’s the fun of this book! What begins as an innocent hook-up sets off a case of mistaken identity and a run-for-you-life chase as things go further and further off the rails. Prepare thyself, for I doubt you’ll be ready either!
Okay, all I can say about this one is if you know, you know. Did it come out of left field? Yes it did. Did I love every jaw-dropping second of it? Of course I did! Does it all start to make sense on a reread? Oh you know Miss Holly was dropping hints! It was the plot twit of plot twists, and I loved every moment of it!