5 star, meme, review

The time hunters saga: review

Hello readers! I’m finally back with a review!

This will be a general review of the first five installment in the series. There’s a sixth book that I didn’t read yet.

Title: The Time hunters

Author: Carl Ashmore

Genre: Sci -fi/Time Travel/Young Adult

General rating: 5/5

Add on: Goodreads

The time hunters is a great series, and even if GR says that’s young adult, an older middle-grade reader will find it really entreating.

I found it by chance on Amazon unlimited, and quickly became addicted, I easily gave all the first 4 books in the series 5 stars on GR, except for the fifth, with a solid 3 stars.

The plot is simple, at the beginning: Joe and Becky, brother and sister, are invited to spend the summer holidays with their Uncle Percy, an eccentric man who lives at Bowen Hall. They didn’t know that Uncle Percy is a time traveller!

Each book is set in a different era, a bunch of characters are a costant in every story, and it’s fascinating to read all their adventures. The reader will encounter a lot of famous character and creatures (yes, even dinosaurs!) during the time travels.

There are the villains, and they are really mean. There’s a great sense of family and friendship, to try to being kind and do the right things, but the books deal also with some darker pages of our history, like the Olocaust. Keep that in mind for younger readers.

I found myself crying and laughing and hold my breath during my reading sessions, and with the progress of the series, the plot became more violent, and darker and complicated, that’s why the fifth book hasn’t reached the 5 stars for me.

I still reccomend this underrated series, if you have read it or plan to, feel free to comment below! I would love to hear your opinion!

meme, review, wrap up

Worst Books of 2019

Hello readers, how are you?

After the good (Best books of 2019) and the beautiful (Best covers of 2019), it’s now time to see the worst books I’ve read in 2019.

Please don’t be offended if one of your fave books is on this post, this is my personal opinion, I will not cause you to stress or offend you.

I will make another separate post for the book I DNFed last year.

These are the books that I disliked so much last, or even that I hated.

We have Smoke gets in your eyes, disrespectful and that has left me questioning about the hygiene rules in the US.

The destroyer was ridiculous, Island of the dolls was the copy of Suicide forest, Circe was so boring I had to force myself reading it.

The case of the green dressed ghost is fatphobic, so keep this in mind if you want to read it; The land of yesterday has a beautiful cover but it was just so weird.

And the last one, Just one damned thing after another… characters that act stupid, unnecessary s*x scenes but again, an appealing cover. I was so disappointed.

And that’s all, fortunately there were more good books last year than bad books!

Do you have read some bad or boring books last year? Tell me in the comments!

1 star, review

Suicide forest; Island of the dolls: review

 

Title: Suicide Forest / Island of the dolls

Series: World’s scariest place 1 / 4

Author: Jeremy Bates

Pages: 549 / 492

Trigger warnings: suicide, death, blood, s** scenes, violence, murder, guns, swear words

Genre: horror, thriller, adult, suspense

Goodreads rating: 3.68 / 3.96

My rating: 1.5 / 1

Synopsys:

Just outside of Tokyo lies Aokigahara, a vast forest and one of the most beautiful wilderness areas in Japan…and also the most infamous spot to commit suicide in the world. Legend has it that the spirits of those many suicides are still roaming, haunting deep in the ancient woods.
When bad weather prevents a group of friends from climbing neighbouring Mt. Fuji, they decide to spend the night camping in Aokigahara. But they get more than they bargained for when one of them is found hanged in the morning–and they realize there might be some truth to the legends after all.

Deep within an ancient Aztec canal system on the outskirts of Mexico City lies Isla de las Munecas…a reportedly haunted island infested with thousands of decrepit dolls.
While there to film a television documentary, several friends discover a brutal murder. Soon fear and paranoia turn them against one another – even as the unknown killer stalks them throughout the longest night of their lives.

 

Review:

(Please be aware that these books are located in real places of Earth, and this review contain spoilers)

From the beginning, it was Island of the dolls who ignite my interest, but when I saw that was the fourth book in a series, I decided to begin with the first one, Suicide Forest. In fact, all these books are standalone, so you can read it in which order you prefer.

Suicide forest is located at Aokigahara, Japan, at the base of Mt. Fuji. It’s a popular tourist area, but it’s well known because a hundred people per year come here to commit suicide.

The book began like most of the horror movies out there: a group of American teachers decide to climb Mt. Fuji with a couple of Japanese friends, but the weather isn’t good for climbing, so they decided to go camping in Aokigahara. Have you seen horror movies? Are you aware that is a sort of scheme? You know, the first one who died, the most beautiful girl in the group who survive, etc…

Suicide forest is full of WTF?? moments: for example, decide to go camping for a night with 3 half bottles of water for 7 people. Yes, that’s a great decision. Half an hour in the forest and they’ve already finished the water. I will love to sleep in a sleeping bag where people come to die, surrounded by an ocean of trees and corpses.

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Why I combined these two reviews in one post? Simply because Island of the dolls has exactly the same plot as Suicide Forest.

The situations, the cycle of the events, are exactly the same. Even the stupidest decisions of the two groups are nearly the same, but Island is located in Mexico.

The problem with Island of the dolls is also that the dolls… are pretty inexistent. It would be set in Los Angeles or London, and it will be the same. A group of friends visit the Island but they had to spend the night on it, and they begin to die one by one. A group of friends decide to spend the night in Aokigahara and they begin to die one by one.

I know that most of the horror books/movies had this plot, but here even the events had the same timing, like the author wrote only one plot and then just changed the location. It’s frustrating.

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The group of main characters are disrespectful of local legends and the local culture. They don’t respect the dead or the “supernatural” forces that could be in those places, and they always, always don’t understand a single word spoken in the language of the country where they are living. Embarrassing.

A special note for the unnecessary s*x scenes in both books: maybe it’s only me, but these two locations aren’t the most romantic or turn on places to do these things, and only because these are adult books it doesn’t mean you need to throw certain scenes like that.

The “villains” of both stories are similar too; the ending no, fortunately.

Last comment: you can watch the Ghost Adventures Special Episode about the Island of the dolls. If you have a phobia of the dolls, it’s one of their scariest adventures.

The World’s scariest places series is composed by:

Suicide Forest (Japan)

The Catacombs (France)

Helltown (U.S.A.)

Island of the dolls (Mexico)

Mountain of the dead (Russia)

 

5 star, review, top5

My Top Ten Horror Movies, Top 5.

Hello readers, welcome to the second part of my personal Top Ten Horror Movies.

Here’s the post with the movies from 10 to 6, where you can find titles like The Ring or The Others.

5) The Woman in Black (2012)

The woman in black is still my favourite ghost story. I’ve read the book and it’s good as the movie, even if they are different in multiple ways. Also, can we talk about Daniel Radcliffe? It’s fantastic in this gothic/horror roles.

4) The conjuring (2013)

Could I write a Top Ten horror without mentioning The Conjuring? Even if I watched it during the afternoon, I was terrified.

Did you know that this year, the Halloween special episode of Ghost Adventures will be about the house that inspired The Conjuring?

3) The Conjuring 2 (2016)

The second movie in The Conjuring series is even more terrifying than the first.

2) The Final Destination series (2000 – 2011)

Maybe, this series isn’t exactly horror, is more splatter, but it’s still one of my favourite series of all the time. I particularly like the link that exists between the characters or the deaths, and how the last movie closes the cycle. And can I hear a wahoo for Tony Todd? (Yes, this is a Good Omens reference)

1) Krampus (2015)

Krampus is like Nightmare Before Christmas: it’s a horror movie based on Christmas, so when you can watch it? At Halloween or at Christmas? Both is good. Krampus begins like a Christmas comedy, with family drama and Christmas songs. But remember that he sees you when you’re sleeping…

And that’s the end! Have you some movie reccomendations for me?

Tell me in the comments!

 

 

 

5 star, netflix series, review, top5

My Top Ten Horror Movies, 10 to 5

Hello readers!

As Halloween approaches, I had the necessity to make my personal Top Ten of horror movies. This is the first part.

I’m a strange fan of horror: I love to watch movies, tv shows and reality tv shows like Ghost Adventures, but at the same time, it’s difficult for me to find a book or a movie that I like and that scares me, so most of the time I’m disappointed. If a movie can reach my personal Top Ten, is really the best.

I will not include classics like The Addams family or NBC, only because I want to talk about underrated/adult movies.

10) The Ring (2002)

The ring was the first horror movie I’ve watched in a movie theatre. I remember I was 15 years old, and I’ve watched it with my friend. Both of us were so terrified that we lock our VHS and video recorder in the closet for months. I’ve watched again after many years, and I fell asleep.

9) The ward (2010)

Without talking about Amber Heard, the main actress, this movie is great! I love all the plot twist!

8) The Others (2001)

 

At first, I can’t stand this movie, I don’t even remember why. Now is one of my fave, even if I know how it ends.

7) The skeleton key (2005)

What I like most about The Skeleton Key are the locations. And Kate Hudson, she’s one of my fave actresses.

6) Errementari (2018)

Errementari is a great underrated horror movie made in Spain, I watched it last year and I was immediately a fan. You can read my review here.

And that’s the first part of the post, in the next days I will post the top 5 horror movies!

Have you seen these movies? Are you a horror fan?

Tell me in the comments!

5 star, netflix series, non fiction, review

Review tv series: Lore, season 1

Hello readers!

This is the perfect time of the year to post this review and to watch this show!

 

Title: Lore

Author/Producer: Aaron Mahnke, Gale Anne Hurd, Geln Morgan, Ben Silverman, etc…

Date of premiere: October 13, 2017

Total seasons: 2

Found on: Amazon Prime Video

On July 27, 2019, the series was cancelled.

My Rating: 4,5/5

Review:

I didn’t know this podcast before found it on Prime Video. I’m always interested in a good documentary, so I watched the first season, and I really liked it.

This series explores a lot of dark subjects, like the German legend of The Wolfman, or haunted toys, toys like dolls. (I’m really scared of dolls)

This must say: it’s absolutely not a series suited for children, teenagers or people easily scared, because each episode narrates a real event with real people. Each episode is a mix of animation (like the trailer you can see above), dramatisation with actors and, when possible, real photos or real videos.

That’s what makes this series really scary.

There are only 6 episodes in the first season, and my favourites are the very first one, about the mistakes of bury people alive, the fourth (spirit seance) and the last. The last one, about the haunted doll named Robert was really well done and super creepy.

Please, be also aware that each episode can talk about other things than the main subject, so there are a lot of trigger warnings like suicide, homicide, blood, death of relatives, corpses, capital execution.

The second season is focused on evil people who had lived in the past, like the Countess Bathory.

I enjoyed this series because I’ve learned a lot from it, and the narrator does a great job to introduce us to the story.

It’s perfect to watch during Halloween season…

5 star, netflix series, review

Movie mini Reviews: Your Name; Momo

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Original Title: Momo e no Tegami / A letter to Momo

Produced by: Production I. G., Pierrot

Date of release: 2011

My rating: 4/5

Plot:

Clinging to an unfinished letter written by her recently deceased father, young Momo moves with her mother from bustling Tokyo to the remote Japanese island of Shio. Upon their arrival, she begins to explore her new habitat, meeting local children and learning their routines and customs. However, it’s not long before several bizarre occurrences crop up around the previously tranquil island. Orchards are found ransacked, prized trinkets start disappearing and, worst of all, each morning after her mother leaves for work, Momo hears strange mumblings coming from the attic of their home. Annoyed by these creepy goings-on and her mother’s refusal to believe them, Momo embarks on a strange and supernatural adventure to discover the source of the mischief, which leads her to a trio of troublesome imps: the flatulent lizard Kawa, the childlike Mame and their hulking ogre leader Iwa. Momo also learns that her visit to the island is in some way connected to her father’s mysterious letter.

 

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Original title: Kimi no na wa  /  Your Name

Produced by: Comix Wave films

Date of release: 2016

My rating: 2.75/5

Plot:

From director Makoto Shinkai, the innovative mind behind Voices of a Distant Star and 5 Centimeters Per Second, comes a beautiful masterpiece about time, the thread of fate, and the hearts of two young souls. The day the stars fell, two lives changed forever. High-schoolers Mitsuha and Taki are complete strangers living separate lives. But one night, they suddenly switch places. Mitsuha wakes up in Taki’s body, and he in hers. This bizarre occurrence continues to happen randomly, and the two must adjust their lives around each other. Yet, somehow, it works. They build a connection and communicate by leaving notes, messages, and more importantly, an imprint. When a dazzling comet lights up the night’s sky, something shifts, and they seek each other out wanting something more – a chance to finally meet. But try as they might, something more daunting than distance prevents them. Is the string of fate between Mitsuha and Taki strong enough to bring them together, or will forces outside their control leave them forever separated?

 

Reviews:

I watched these two movies recently, so I decided to do a mash-up review. As you can see from my rating, I’ve loved A Letter to Momo, and I like it Your Name, but not so much.

But Your Name is famous, and Momo is totally underrated.

Let me explain: the great strength of A Letter to Momo is the story, the animation and visual effects are more classics. It’s a story who I can relate much more than Your Name, there is a lot of emotions going through, from the sadness of the beginning, when Momo’s father died, to the anger for the troubles due to the demons, and finally to the fun and the friendship between the three demons and Momo.

It’s a little too long however, but the ending is really emotional and satisfying.

The strength of Your Name is visual: the plot is a little too romantic and “weird” to me, even if I had appreciated the plot twist. But oh my… the scenes of the night sky, with the cometh, the classic Japanese village with their summer festival and traditions, in contrast with Taki’s life in a modern city. Every scene is a masterpiece, with the colours, the music, the particular shot. You really a big TV with a high resolution to better see this movie!

I appreciated both of this movies, and I will recommend both: A Letter to Momo if you want a “classic” movie full of human emotions and Japanese mythology; Your Name if you prefer a more romantic story with a touch of angst.

Both of the movies are available on Netflix.

non fiction, review

Sorry I’m late, I didn’t want to review it.

Hello readers!

Here I am with a review of an ARC I request through Edelweiss. I liked the cover and the title, and I’ve thought that, as an introvert, I will see myself in the main character and maybe learn to be less introvert.

Spoiler: I learn nothing.

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Title: Sorry I’m late, I didn’t want to come. One introvert’s year of saying yes.

Author: Jessica Pan

Editor: Andrews McMeel Publishing

Pages: 272

Genre: Non-fiction, memoir

Goodreads Rating: 4.00/5

My rating: 2.5/5

Synopsys:

What would happen if a shy introvert lived like a gregarious extrovert for one year? If she knowingly and willingly put herself in perilous social situations that she’d normally avoid at all costs? Writer Jessica Pan intends to find out. With the help of various extrovert mentors, Jessica sets up a series of personal challenges (talk to strangers, perform stand-up comedy, host a dinner party, travel alone, make friends on the road, and much, much worse) to explore whether living like an extrovert can teach her lessons that might improve the quality of her life. Chronicling the author’s hilarious and painful year of misadventures, this book explores what happens when one introvert fights her natural tendencies, takes the plunge, and tries (and sometimes fails) to be a little bit braver.

Review:

Have you ever read a book that makes you uncomfortable?

I am an introvert, I was always an introvert, and I was really uneasy reading this memoir. I’m not really a memoir person, because I never find a person who has the same experiences as me, but I admit that the beginning of this book was promising.

I saw a lot of myself in Jessica and her social introversion, and I laughed on some scenes, remembering how I acted pretty similar to her.

But the more she pushes herself doing something more extrovert, the more I began to analyze the book.

Because I’m also a shy person, and I suffer from social anxiety from a very young age, and I was thinking, due to some scenes in this book, that also Jessica suffers from social anxiety, maybe a little less than me. But she also lives and does something that I will never do, and her experiences during her extrovert’s year are specifically (in my vision) for people living in a big city and living a healthy life. If you live in London and have money and good health, you can go out, or participate in a show, or take an aeroplane and goes to a “surprise weekend” in a random city. But not everyone is like you, Jessica!

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So this restricts a lot the people who can apply to her lifestyle.

I will also say that I found her “racist” vision of the population of a city very disgusting. She stands very clearly about the flaws of Londoners, or people of Budapest or Hong Kong. I’m not a citizen of these cities, but I don’t think it’s polite to talk so harsh about them. She’s very harsh to Budapest especially, so please be prepare.

I know that I have a vision of the world really different from most of the people, so please do not be offended by this review. It’s only my opinion and my feelings.

 

review, Senza categoria

ARC Review: The Lost History of Dreams

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Title: The lost history of dreams

Author: Kris Waldherr

Genre: adult historical fiction, mystery, gothic.

Editor: Atria Books

Pages: 320

Publication date: April 9th 2019

Goodreads Rating: 4,44

My Rating: 4

Trigger warning: corpse, memento mori, mentions of death, blood, death of animals, violence, s*x scenes.

Add on: Goodreads, Amazon.

Synopsis:

All love stories are ghost stories in disguise.

When famed Byronesque poet Hugh de Bonne is discovered dead of a heart attack in his bath one morning, his cousin Robert Highstead, a historian turned post-mortem photographer, is charged with a simple task: transport Hugh’s remains for burial in a chapel. This chapel, a stained glass folly set on the moors of Shropshire, was built by de Bonne sixteen years earlier to house the remains of his beloved wife and muse, Ada. Since then, the chapel has been locked and abandoned, a pilgrimage site for the rabid fans of de Bonne’s last book, The Lost History of Dreams.
However, Ada’s grief-stricken niece refuses to open the glass chapel for Robert unless he agrees to her bargain: before he can lay Hugh to rest, Robert must record Isabelle’s story of Ada and Hugh’s ill-fated marriage over the course of five nights.
As the mystery of Ada and Hugh’s relationship unfolds, so does the secret behind Robert’s own marriage—including that of his fragile wife, Sida, who has not been the same since the tragic accident three years ago, and the origins of his own morbid profession that has him seeing things he shouldn’t—things from beyond the grave.
Kris Waldherr effortlessly spins a sweeping and atmospheric gothic mystery about love and loss that blurs the line between the past and the present, truth and fiction, and ultimately, life and death.

Review:

This had the potential to be my fave read of the year, no, my fave read of all the time.

It has everything I’m searching in a book: a creepy beginning set in a past era; a tormented main character; the mention of the post mortem photography; a lonely house in the moor; ghosts that haunt people and houses; a tragic love story; a dark and gothic atmosphere.

I love it so much.

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I was reading this in total darkness (tablet in night mode), and it gave me chills. I also had a couple of nightmares during my reading. If you are easily scared, this book is not for you!

But everyone knows that all good things come to an end, and the end for this book it’s literally the ending: it has ruined pretty much everything.

The beginning is amazing, the plot is really well done and it develops with a lot of twists, there a lot of characters and a lot of locations to memorize, but everything is so captivating and I was on the edge of my seat at least a couple of times.

Robert is an interesting main character, Isabelle is a little annoying with her obsession for Ada, but we want to know what’s inside the Ada’s Folly.

There are a couple of scenes during the entire book that doesn’t suit well: one is involving the death of many animals, and I really don’t like it. My main issue is the ending: I love when there are plot twist, and I love when a book is unpredictable, but the Lost History of Dreams is a traitor. All the pieces of evidence, the tales about Ada, the scenes involving Isabelle led the reader to a certain type of ending, or at least, that was for me.

No, we don’t have what we expected: a glorious horror ending. We have however a romance style ending that has let me in tears not for her magnificent, but because it has broken all my expectations and has ruined my love for this book.

 

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That was literally my reaction.

Also, I really don’t like s*x scenes throw like that, when they are not necessary. I don’t think that only because a book is labelled “adult” it means you can write weird adult scenes involving (enlight the rest of the phrase) make s*x on the floor of a chapel with your dead aunt next to you. This is a no-no for me.

 

The ending in my head was better that that.

review, Senza categoria

ARC review: The Raven’s Tale, by Cat Winters

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Title: The Raven’s Tale

Author: Cat Winters

Genre: historical fiction, gothic, young adult

Pages: 368

Publication date: April 16th 2019

Goodreads rating: 3.66

My Rating: 4

Trigger warning: death, blood, ghosts, violence

Add on: Goodreads, Amazon

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Edgar Poe counts down the days until he can escape his foster family—the wealthy Allans of Richmond, Virginia. He hungers for his upcoming life as a student at the prestigious new university, almost as much as he longs to marry his beloved Elmira Royster. However, on the brink of his departure, all his plans go awry when a macabre Muse named Lenore appears to him. Muses are frightful creatures that lead Artists down a path of ruin and disgrace, and no respectable person could possibly understand or accept them. But Lenore steps out of the shadows with one request: “Let them see me!”

 

Review:

“Give me a name that means “light”, not shadow, and we may be able to show them there’s beauty in horror.”

I’m very emotional because this is the first ARC that I got approved on Edelweiss! And it’s from one of my favourite authors!

The cover is amazing, and shows perfectly the character of Lenore, Edgar’s muse.

Let me say this: Cat Winters is fantastic writing gothic and horror books. She has a talent to let you fall into the story.

In The Raven’s tale, I completely fell in love with Lenore from the very first time she appears on the page.

However, this is not the best Winter’s book, and that’s why: we understand that it’s made for a younger audience, so the writing style is lighter and easier to read; we read of the conflict of young Edgar, who want to be a student in a prestigious university but it’s attracted to this dark and frightening Muse; we also participate in his success and his failures, but in the end we know that he has indulged in the horror tales that Lenore inspires him.

I comprehend that with this story we know more about the young Poe, about his family and what in the world inspires him to write, but in the end I was like: well, he’s known to everyone for his horror tales, so I already know that he will follow Lenore, no matter what.

“There’s nothing wrong with tales of fright and horror told late at night. They make your listeners appreciate waking up in the morning, discovering they’re still alive.”

But the most disappointing thing in this book is the ending: I honestly thought it will be another chapter but no, it finishes like this, with a scene that seems to lead to a great revelation and a great scene of Lenore and in fact it ends with nothing.

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I was also disappointed because in the ending that’s not a reference or a connection to the most famous poem of Poe, The Raven. With a horror muse that resembles a raven, and with this title, I was eager to read a scene when Edgar writes the poem with Lenore on his shoulder.

To conclude this review: the setting and the characters are all well done, we know better about Poe, but this is really far away from the first and still best book of Cat Winters “In the shadow of blackbirds”.

All the quotes are from my ARC copy, that I received in exchange for an honest review.