howlinglibraries's reviews
1559 reviews

VenCo by Cherie Dimaline

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 DNF @ 65%

I wanted so badly to love this book, but the writing was such a struggle and I finally gave up when my buddy read partner finished it and told me it didn't get any better. I loved the indigenous representation, the inclusion of a fantastic trans woman, casual queer rep everywhere, and the relationship between Lucky and her grandmother Stella... but none of that was able to redeem this book from the fact that it suffered from poor pacing and far too many characters and perspectives. I think VenCo tried to do too many things in too few pages and that ultimately hindered the entire book from succeeding.

Representation: Lucky is Métis, Freya is trans, multiple side characters are queer and/or BIPOC 

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The Thing Under Your Bed by Stephen Kozeniewski

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 The Thing Under Your Bed offers a child's perspective of the classic terror that plagued most of us for years (and still creeps into some of our minds as adults): the horrible creatures that might hide under the bed, waiting for us to unsuspectingly dangle a limb over the edge so it can grab us and yank us down into oblivion.

It's such a fun story that brought back a lot of nostalgia for me, because I was definitely one of those "run and jump into bed so the thing under it can't grab my ankle" kids who had an imagination much too big for any nightlight to ward off. On the other hand, there's also a lot of heartbreak in this little tale, between depictions of an abusive alcoholic mother, a cheating father, and a shocking amount of violence against animals.

Overall, I liked The Thing Under Your Bed and considered it a solid 4-star read until reaching the ending, which felt very abrupt! I was admittedly disappointed with the final scene and knocked off half a star for it, but I still recommend this story and will definitely be checking out more of Stephen's work in the future.

Thank you to the author for the review copy! All thoughts are honest and my own. 

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Creepy Cat Vol. 4 by Cotton Valent

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 This last installment was pretty all over the place and the ending was a bit odd, but I still enjoyed it for the cute, silly shenanigans of Creepy Cat & co. I'm glad I picked up this series and I need more cute, goth cat stories in my life!
Clive Barker's the Midnight Meat Train Special Definitive Edition by Clive Barker

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Kaufman almost smiled at the perfection of its horror.

I read this in my bind-up of Books of Blood volumes 1-3, but I wanted to give it its own review since I'm not reading the entire collection right now. Wow, this story was immensely fucked up and did not go anywhere near where I was expecting it to go. The Midnight Meat Train is a quick, punchy reminder of why Clive Barker is one of the masters of modern horror and I loved this.