Spooktober: Creatures of the Night

Welcome all to the final stop on the Spooktober express. We have reached Halloween! I wish you all a spooktacular Halloween – to celebrate, here are some popular Halloween creatures and books to go with them!

CATS

The Ninth Life – Taylor Brooke

For the past few months, The Ninth Life was known as The Unforgettable Lives of Austin Price – and its one of my most anticipated 2020 releases! Taylor has described it as:

“🌈queer non-binary MC who lived 8 past lives as CATS!!
✨portland, OR
🐶there’s a talking dog
💜complicated love triangle
🏔austin is such a soft boi
🐯life & love & grief”

The Travelling Cat Chronicles – Hiro Akirawa

Contains human owner trying to find a new home for his cat, but the cat doesn’t know why! Beautiful and heartbreaking and so much love!

Other Words for Smoke – Sarah Maria Griffin

Contains strange evil owls, fairytale like setting and a large, fluffy talking cat!

WITCHES

These Witches Don’t Burn – Isabel Sterling

Queer witches, dating and blood rituals!

The Hollow Girl – Hillary Monahan

To repay the boys that attacked her and her friend, Bethan has to collect body parts to complete a spell which will bring her friend Martyn back from the brink of death. Gruesome witchiness!

The Scapegracers – Hannah Abigail Clarke

This book is described on Goodreads as “An outcast teenage lesbian witch finds her coven hidden amongst the popular girls in her school, and performs some seriously badass magic in the process.” And it sounds epic! I am so hear for queer witches.

The Dark Tide – Alicia Jasinska

Retelling of a Scottish fairytale! YES YES YES! (I’m Scottish so I’m incredibly excited for this!!!) Enemies to lovers, sapphic, Witchy Queen, MC sacrificing herself to save her secret crush….then falls for the enemy?! Everything about this sounds perfect!

SKELETONS/NECROMANCY

Even though necromancy could in theory be considered a part of the above witches section, I am given it it’s whole section! Because necromancy is probably my favourite type of magic and I love love love books which feature it!

Gideon the Ninth – Tamsyn Muir

Science fantasy! Sapphic! Enemies to lovers! Skeletons! Oh god so many skeletons!

Reign of the Fallen – Sarah Glenn Marsh

Necromancers who have to bring back the dead by walking into the “Deadlands” to retreive the souls of the dead + bisexual MC + someone starts killing necromancers…Part fantasy, part mystery!

The Bone Witch – Rin Chupeco

MC who accidentally brings her brother back from the dead at his funeral, learning she is a Bone Witch.

MERMAIDS/SEA CREATURES

Into the Drowning Deep – Mira Grant

Absolutely terrifying! Mermaids have been discovered, after they were caught on camera devouring the crew of a ship. Now a new research vessel is setting off to find them. Cue unimaginable horrors. If you missed my review of this spooktacular book yesterday, check it out here!

The Abyss Surrounds Us – Emily Skrutskie

Sea monsters! Women fighting sea monsters! Pirates! Pirates trying to use a sea monster to control the seas!

Ice Massacre – Tiana Warner

Every year, a warriers are sent to fight the mermaids. Every year, no one returns. So this year, a group of women are sent, in the hope that the mermaids luring siren power won’t work on them.

GHOSTS AND OTHER HAUNTINGS

Missing, Presumed Dead – Emma Berquist

Lexi can see ghosts. When Jane is brutally murdered, she returns as a ghost and enlists Lexi’s help to hunt down her murderer. This book is so so amazing, it’s dark and gritty and really tense, I absolutely flew through it!

The Dark In-Between – Elizabeth Hrib

When Casey reutrns from the dead, its to discover her best friend has died. When an angel falls from the sky, Casey follows the angel to a place called Limbo, which she must learn to walk between, in order to save her friend.

Unbroken – Brooklyn Ray

Okay so this is why I had to add “And other hauntings”, because I wanted to mention this book. When Michael moves into his new home, he doens’t expect it to be haunted – by a witch turned demon who likes to bake…. Cue falling in love!!!! Please give me all the queer, demon romance.

WEREWOLVES

A Curse so Dark and Lonely – Brigid Kemmerer

A retelling of Beauty and the Beast! Harper is kidnapped and wakes up in a strange land, where Prince Rhen is trying to make her fall in love with him. He’s been cursed to repeat Autumn, turning into a mindless beast at the end of every season and slaughtering his kingdom. If someone can fall in love with him, the curse will be broken.

Red Hood – Elana K. Arnold

When Bisou runs into the woods on the night of homecoming, she encounters a wolf, and somehow, manages to kill it. The next day, one of her classmates has been found in the woods. Dead. She doesn’t know if it’s her fault. Loose Red Riding Hood retelling, dark and gorey, female empowerment!

VAMPIRES

Blood Countess – Lana Popović

Okay not technically vampires, but instead “A historical YA horror novel based on the infamous real-life inspiration for Countess Dracula”. This inspiration is Elizabeth Báthory, who has the title of most prolific female serial killer ever….I have chills just thinking about this book!

The Beautiful РRen̩e Ahdieh

The glitz and glamour of vampires in New Orleans! Serial killings, murder mystery and falling in love with a monster.

The Deathless Girls – Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Vampire brides of Dracula is all I’ll say!

***

Happy Halloween! With this post I have reached the last of my Spooktober posts. I hope you have enjoyed this spooktacular last week of October! I’ll be a little less around during November, as I’m aiming to do NaNoWriMo, and get some of my angsty bisexual pirate book written! If you’d like to keep up with my writing progress, follow me on Twitter, that’s probably where I will be most! Might even tweet a line or two from the book as I go (pending I have any lines I like enough…)

Finally, what’s your favourite Halloweeny book? Let me know in the comments below!

Paws out,
Rach + Draco

Book review: Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

Title: Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

Publisher: Tor.com

Publication date: 10 Sept 2019

Genre: Science fantasy | Adult

Page extent: 448 pages

Goodreads blurb: Gideon the Ninth is the most fun you’ll ever have with a skeleton.

The Emperor needs necromancers.

The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman.

Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead bullshit.

Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and lesbian necromancers. Her characters leap off the page, as skillfully animated as necromantic skeletons. The result is a heart-pounding epic science fantasy.

Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won’t set her free without a service.

Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and bone witch extraordinaire, has been summoned into action. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his loyal Houses to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark succeeds she will become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection, but no necromancer can ascend without their cavalier. Without Gideon’s sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die.

Of course, some things are better left dead.

***

Well that was an utterly bizarre, but captivating, challenging and cinematic read. I don’t quite know where to start with this review! As my most anticipated read this year, I expected a lot from the book marketed as ‘lesbian necromancers in space’. I’m not quite sure I got what I expected – it was so unique I don’t think I’ve ever read anything quite like it. It does make for a confusing first half, but very much improves in the second half with an absolutely phenomenal ending. 

Gideon the Ninth starts convolutedly. It throws you in the deep end, and doesn’t wait for you to catch up. The sheer amount of vocabulary used in this book is incredible, the prose is intensely descriptive which I admit took me a while to get on board with. The large cast is difficult to recall and I do wish I’d made much more use of the character guide at the start of the novel. 

But in saying that, what I did like at the start were Gideon and Harrow. I enjoyed Gideon’s sarcastic, snarky, ridiculous humour throughout. I liked that it lessened what was otherwise quite a heavy and dense first half. I also thought Harrow was brilliantly characterised from the moment she stepped on page. I LOVE her. She has such a presence whenever we see her, and whilst Gideon was so unique in her own ways, I thought it was Harrow who really shone. 

The second half of the book is where things get really exciting. With the launch of the murder mystery, the book becomes intensely gripping and I flew through the second half. With the murders, it did also lessen the character load so made for a much less confusing read as well. The emotional hits also begin to pick up, crescendoing to that ending which really truly hurts. Muir’s writing really sings in some of the big fight scenes towards the end of the novel, and I wish so much I could learn to write battles as she does. 

The relationship between Gideon and Harrow was fantastic, and I loved their growth and development across the novel. Harrow particularly has a fantastic character arc and I am so excited to see from her POV in the second book.

Although Gideon the Ninth definitely takes some time to get used to, it improves greatly in the second half, ending exceptionally and with some fantastic twists and hard hitting scenes which make this a bizarrely unique book.

Paws out,
Rach + Draco