Weekly Mash-up #112

Another quiet week, and my brain has been scattered the past few days, so I’ll skip right to the books…

The Week in Books

In the Valley of the Sun by Andy Davidson — 4.5 out of 5 stars

Travis Stillwell was a killer before he met the mysterious Rue; she just helped him go in a whole new direction.     Davidson’s take on vampires is one of the best I’ve read in some time.  For such a violent story, the writing is beautiful and sucked me in from the first page.   Highly recommend.

Saving My Assassin by Virginia Prodan — 3.5/4 out of 5 stars

Virginia Prodan’s memoir chronicles her upbringing in Romania and her career as an attorney defending those being persecuted for their religious beliefs under the reign of Nicolae Ceaucescu.  Her strong Christian faith and beliefs led her through some tough and dangerous situations.  Simply written yet highly compelling.

The Snowman’s Children by Glen Hirshberg — 3 out of 5 stars

What I thought would be a mystery involving a serial killer turned out to be more of a coming of age flashback story with a prank gone wrong…oh, and a serial killer mentioned a few times, almost like an afterthought.  What really disappointed me was the sluggishness of the story.  I did round up to three stars because there were enough good scenes that kept me going, even when I was considering a DNF.

Novellas, Short Stories, and Anthologies

The Gulp by Alan Baxter — 4 out of 5 stars

The coastal town of Gulpepper, known to the locals as The Gulp, is home to some very strange characters indeed.  In this collection of five novellas, Alan Baxter introduces us to some of The Gulp’s residents with tales that are creepy, weird, and sometimes darkly humorous.  I’m hoping this is just the beginning of a series as I can tell there are so many more stories waiting in the shadows!

Chopping Spree by Angela Sylvaine — 3 out of 5 stars

Penny works at an ’80’s-inspired shopping mall.  Staying after work with her coworkers, they stumble across a killer running around the building.  Then things get weird.    This was one of those stories that I could envision being made into a movie for the SyFy channel.  It was a fun, quick read, but ultimately I felt there just wasn’t enough build-up to create a really good scare (granted, it’s only 70 pages, but just a few more details would have taken it to another level).  Not too gruesome, I would recommend for casual horror readers.

Until next time, stay safe and Happy Reading!

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