If you want a flimsy plot and an awful lot of virtue signalling, you'll love this book. Oh, and it has magpies. Lots of magpies.
The simple (and cool sounding premise) of the book is that women worldwide have turned into aggressive monsters, and our protagonist wants to know whether this includes his twin sister, Kaylee. He sets off across the country, fighting to find her, hoping that she won’t kill him when he does. The problem is that the zombie theme is just a background to Rick Wood’s strangely ill-advised feminist soapbox. If this is feminism, we might as well stuff our voting slips down our gullets until we cork it now.
The residents at Banyan Court are sure that something is wrong. The building itself seems to be breathing, there are unexplained deaths, whispering figures on the stairs, and mysterious decay in the walls. Each resident only has one thing in common: an invite to join owner Tobias Fell for dinner at his top-floor penthouse where they might finally find answers.
The Donner party (sometimes known as the Donner-Reed party) was a group of American pioneers who attempted to migrate from California to the Midwest in 1847 but were caught in snow throughout a whole winter and had to resort to cannibalism to stay alive. This reimagining of that dark and mysterious part of American history takes the horror to a new level by introducing the question: 'What if they were being hunted?'
Molly Bolt has a strong sense of self. Despite collecting a vast number of labels from the people around her as she grows up in the 1970’s - ‘bastard’, ‘orphan’, ‘lesbian’, ‘queer’, ‘spic’, ‘ugly’, ‘monogamous’, ‘housewife’, ‘loud’ - she is unphased, and takes delight in throwing them all aside to focus on her passions. Readers who have ever felt judged or discriminated against will find freedom in Rubyfruit Jungle as Molly charges ahead of us all, living her life as she pleases and fiercely dismissing anyone who dares disapprove of her; leaving an open road behind her for others like us to walk down.
Patty has just been released from prison after serving 5 years for the abuse of her daughter, Rose Gold. Despite a childhood filled with unnecessary pain, medication and isolation, the now-adult Rose Gold comes to pick Patty up from the prison gates with a new baby in tow and ready to put the past behind them. But the townsfolk aren’t so quick to forget, and Patty quickly realises that Rose Gold is no longer the weak and impressionable child she once was. If she wants to regain control, she’ll need to fight for it.
These are the distant heroes that we had heard about, but projected in beautiful technicolor. 'The Song of Achilles' gives space for the lesser-known story of Achilles and his lover Patroclus, set during the Trojan War. It's everything you wish you'd known about Greek Mythology, wrapped up in skilful storytelling.
For any of you who love 80’s nostalgia, this novel is a true monster mash of The Exorcist, Heathers, and The Breakfast Club. It explores the love, horror and intensity of teenage female friendships, and how difficult it can sometimes be to tell between a demon-possessed high school student, and one who’s simply hit puberty.
‘Ninth House’ is a soft magic system masquerading as a hard magic system. Mix into that a protagonist who's inconsistent, a lack of world-building structure and some ridiculous moments, and you've got yourself a frustrating read.
This might actually be my favorite short story collection of all time. Daphne Du Maurier is a fucking revelation and I'm appalled at myself for not reading this uncanny, intelligent and altogether bizarre collection earlier.