“Watch Hollow” by Gregory Funaro

Here’s another book that was recommended to me by Lilyn over on Sci-Fi & Scary. I read her review and decided to try the book myself. Now, I can’t wait to try the next book in this duology.

Genre:

Middle-grade Horror; Fantasy

Series:

Watch Hollow, book 1

Pubbed:

2019

Goodreads summary:

Deep within the enchanted woods in the town of Watch Hollow stands the once-grand Blackford House, whose halls hold a magical secret: a giant cuckoo clock that does much more than tell time. But when the clock’s gears cease to turn, an evil presence lurking among the trees begins to come out of the shadows.

When Lucy and Oliver Tinker arrive in Watch Hollow, they have no idea that anything is wrong. A mysterious stranger has made their father an offer that’s too good for him to refuse. All Mr. Tinker needs to do is fix the clock at Blackford House and fistfuls of gold coins are his to keep.

It doesn’t take long, however, for the children to realize that there is more to Blackford House than meets the eye. And before they can entirely understand the strange world they’ve stumbled into, Lucy and Oliver must join forces with a host of magical clock animals to defeat the Garr—a vicious monster that not only wants Blackford House for itself, but also seeks to destroy everything the Tinkers hold dear. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

I read Watch Hollow for the Wyrd & Wonder reading event held in May, when I read only fantasy novels. Watch Hollow is first a fantasy novel, but an old, creaky house containing a huge, mysterious clock that operates it and that’s surrounded by dark menacing woods that creep ever closer gives it the feel of horror. The story isn’t scary, but it is creepy and can be unsettling for some young ones. However, there are many light moments in the story, and there are even some lovable fantastical creatures to look forward to who all help Lucy, the protagonist, to keep the evil presence in the woods, the Garr, at bay.

I enjoyed the story although I didn’t expect to. I was quickly swept up in it as I wondered what it’s about and what would happen next. Although the bulk of the story takes place at Blackford House, there’s still much adventure and fun as Lucy works with her fantastical friends to figure out what the Garr is, enter its territory in the creepy woods, and evade it while trying to save others. The story flows at an even pace, but it kept my attention throughout and was a fun, exciting read.

I like how it ends as well. Although Lucy’s father obviously cares about both Lucy and her brother, Oliver, it’s also obvious that he favors Oliver over Lucy. Oliver and Lucy have a very close relationship, but it doesn’t seem to be true of Lucy and her father. But by the end of the story, it seems that Lucy has grown closer to her father, and her father has learned to value Lucy’s insights and opinions as much as Oliver’s. I really like the development there.

Also, I like that this is a story about a single father with kids. I hardly read children’s books with a positive father presence or where the father knows and helps with what’s going on. Mostly, there are either no parents or the parent who is involved is the mother (which is okay, but I like seeing more father presence as well).

Of course, I can’t wait to read the next book. The end of this made me wonder if something would happen next. At the time, I didn’t see any indication that the story would continue in another book. I took to Goodreads to ask the author (I really needed to know) and he confirmed that there will be another book! I was so happy. 😊

Overall: ★★★★★

I enjoyed it. The story is entertaining and the writing is pretty good so, yeah! It gets 5 stars. I highly recommend it to you, especially if you want something quick and fun to read for Halloween or a Friday 13th celebration or if you just want to read a middle-grade novel that touches on the haunted house/creepy woods trope.

Buy | Borrow | Bypass

It’s a good read. I’ve recommended it to parents and kids at the bookstore too and they bought it!! 😀

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Comics Roundup #30: “Through the Woods”

So, I finally read Through the Woods. This was a long time coming. There was a lot of buzz around it when it was published in 2014. My interest perked, I placed it on my TBR back then and bought it in the following year intending to “read it soon.” It languished on my bookshelf since then until April this year, when I read it for the O.W.L. Magical Readathon.

Before that readathon, other bloggers who’ve read and loved the book have always encouraged me to give it a go, but I would always place it on my TBR and neglect to read it. Now I did, and I agree: It’s pretty good.


Through the Woods by Emily Carroll (illus.)

Genre:

YA Horror

Series:

n/a

Pubbed:

July 2014

Quick summary:

Through the Woods is a YA horror graphic novel that contains five “mysterious, spine-tingling” fairytale-esque short stories about “journeys into (and out of?) the eerie abyss.” (Goodreads)

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“The Passage” by Justin Cronin, narr. by Scott Brick, Abby Craden, and Adenrele Ojo

A couple years ago, I received the first and third books in this series. I was working at a newspaper at the time and publishers would sometimes send us books. Somehow, I ended up with those two. I intended to read them, but didn’t get around to it and eventually gave them away unread. I didn’t know they were sci-fi, horror novels about a vampire apocalypse. I assumed they were mystery novels (no idea why I thought that) and that I wouldn’t like them, so I didn’t mind letting them go.

Then earlier this year, a co-worker told me about a new show that will air on Fox. He and I both like vampire/zombie-apocalypse-type flicks, so he knew I’d be excited to check out such a show, which turned out to be the TV adaptation of The Passage. I looked at the preview and got excited because the lead is a young, Black actress. I eagerly awaited the first episode but when it aired, some of my excitement dampened. The show was okay. As it progressed, it became less interesting until I no longer cared whether or not I saw the latest episode.

Vampire/zombie apocalypse stories are always interesting and exciting to me. Thinking the fault might be with the TV show’s creators, I decided to read the book, or rather, download the audiobook. But unfortunately, the book proved to be as lackluster for me as the show. This is the first vampire/zombie apocalypse story to bore me. I didn’t complete it.

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“Comet Rising” by MarcyKate Connolly

Comet Rising is the second novel in the Shadow Weaver duology, a middle-grade fantasy story about a girl who can manipulate shadows. I read the first book, Shadow Weaver, last year and enjoyed it and was eager to read its sequel when I learned it was available.

Genre:

Middle-grade fantasy

Series:

Shadow Weaver, book 2

Pubbed:

January 2019

Goodreads summary:

Something is very wrong with the sky…

Emmeline and Lucas are safe from Lady Aisling and her soldiers for the time being. The only thing that mars their peaceful life is Emmeline’s former shadow, Dar. Still shut in her cage, she constantly tries to manipulate Emmeline to set her free.

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Top Ten Tuesday #37: New-to-Me Authors from 2018

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that was created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish but is now managed by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic:

New-to-Me Authors I Read In 2018

I read several books last year whose authors are new to me. Some were great picks and I look forward to sampling more of those authors’ work, while others made me regret picking up the book. I’ll focus on the positive in this post and discuss only authors whose work I’d like to try again.

Libba Bray

The Diviners

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Halloween Creatures 2.0 Book Tag

Things didn’t go according to plan. The plan was to post Halloween-themed book tags in the last few days leading up to Halloween, on which I’d post this Halloween book tag. But though my Halloween began in a spectacular fashion (which, unfortunately, I can’t share the details of), I was so exhausted the night before that I was unable to draft this post. That exhaustion continued through Halloween, so I spent most of the day sleeping, unable to watch any of the scary movies I’d planned to see.

But the day after Halloween is just as good for this tag, so tuck in for Halloween Creatures 2.0.


Halloween Creatures 2.0 Book Tag

This tag has been making the rounds lately. It was created by Anthony at Keep Reading Forward. He reworked the Halloween Creatures Book Tag he created last year to make an updated version with “new creatures, better prompts, and more fun.” I was tagged for this by the Orangutan Librarian.

Witch
A Magical Character or Book

Merlin

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Trick or Treat Round the Block | Spooky Scary | Halloween Book Tags

And here are two more book tags to celebrate the coming of Halloween. I’m so excited for the holiday though I’m doing nothing special for it and will most likely be working the night away. I just love the vibe of the holiday: the costumes, the candy, the spookiness, the scary movies. When I get a chance, I’ll do a little research into Halloween. I don’t know much about it, but I have heard some stories that make me think it has a dark beginning.

Anyway, I found both of these tags on the Sassy Book Geek.


Trick or Treat Round The Block Book Tag

created by booktuber, the Bookish Porcupine

Creepy house on the corner of the street: Book with a creepy cover

Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics

I have no idea what this book is about, but I think it’s YA horror. The cover creeps me out and makes me think it’s about possession. I got it in a YA quarterly book box couple years ago but I gave it away without reading it. It’s not my sort of thing.

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