Wednesday, September 6, 2023

What We've Been Reading | September 6, 2023

Today we're sharing two new releases and a backlist title you won't want to miss!

Wild Spaces by S.L. Coney

Robert R. McCammon’s Boy’s Life meets H. P. Lovecraft in Wild Spaces, a foreboding, sensual coming-of-age debut in which the corrosive nature of family secrets and toxic relatives assume eldritch proportions.

An eleven-year-old boy lives an idyllic childhood exploring the remote coastal plains and wetlands of South Carolina alongside his parents and his dog Teach. But when the boy’s eerie and estranged grandfather shows up one day with no warning, cracks begin to form as hidden secrets resurface that his parents refuse to explain.

The longer his grandfather outstays his welcome and the greater the tension between the adults grows, the more the boy feels something within him changing —physically—into something his grandfather welcomes and his mother fears. Something abyssal. Something monstrous.

Jen's Teaser Review

"I loved Wild Spaces. It's growing on me even more the longer it sits in my mind. In Wild Spaces, the main character is an 11 year old boy who I don't believe is ever named. His grandfather who has never been around shows up and things aren't right with the grandfather or at home.

The sea is one of my favorite elements in every single genre that I read. Wild Spaces incorporates the sea and it is disturbing! This novella hits hard at times."

Read Jen's entire review at her blog Book Den.

No Trouble At All edited by Alexis DuBon & Eric Raglin

Politeness is the glue that holds society together. We are all expected to do our part—a pressure ripe with horror. Rotten, even. Whether we adhere to this contract or defy it, there are consequences. These fifteen stories respond to promises made for us, promises of compliance that cost too much to keep.

Featuring Nadia Bulkin, Shenoa Carroll-Bradd, Ariel Marken Jack, Gwendolyn Kiste, Avra Margariti, J.A.W. McCarthy, R.L Meza, Marisca Pichette, J. Rohr, Simone le Roux, Angela Sylvaine, Nadine Aurora Tabing, Sara Tantlinger, D. Matthew Urban, and Gordon B. White.

Goodreads Amazon

Teresa's Teaser Review

"Every story is a treasure. I know that sometimes it is nice if a reviewer picks a couple stories as their favorites, but I refuse. Read them all, love them all, devour them all, just make sure you do it with a smile on your face. "

Read Teresa's entire review at Goodreads.

Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones

A spellbinding and darkly humorous coming-of-age story about an unusual boy whose family lives on the fringes of society and struggles to survive in a hostile world that shuns and fears them.

He was born an outsider, like the rest of his family. Poor yet resilient, he lives in the shadows with his Aunt Libby and Uncle Darren, folk who stubbornly make their way in a society that does not understand or want them. They are mongrels, mixedblood, neither this nor that. The boy at the center of Mongrels must decide if he belongs on the road with his aunt and uncle, or if he fits with the people on the other side of the tracks.

For ten years, he and his family have lived a life of late-night exits and close calls—always on the move across the South to stay one step ahead of the law. But the time is drawing near when Darren and Libby will know if their nephew is like them or not. And the close calls they’ve been running from for so long are catching up fast, now. Everything is about to change.

A compelling and fascinating journey, Mongrels alternates between past and present to create an unforgettable portrait of a boy trying to understand his family and his place in a complex and unforgiving world. A smart and innovative story—funny, bloody, raw, and real—told in a rhythmic voice full of heart, Mongrels is a deeply moving, sometimes grisly novel that illuminates the challenges and tender joys of a life beyond the ordinary in a bold and imaginative new way.

Goodreads | Amazon

Teresa's Teaser Review

"A beautifully written coming-of-age story about a boy who doesn’t really fit in with the world around him, nor does he fit in with his family, but he is walking the tightrope of wanting to fit in while also being himself."

Read Teresa's complete review at Goodreads.

Thank you for joining us today! We hope you found something to add to your tbr list. Please share your recent reads with us in the comments below.

Our Reviewers

Jen is one of our Horror Spotlight admins. Jen manages the technical side of the Horror Spotlight website and keeps a spotlight on new horror releases each month.

You can also find Jen on her blog Book Den, Twitter as @bookden, Instagram as @bookdenjen, on Goodreads, and Letterboxd.

Teresa creates the Shelf Edition posts, creates bookish lists and is a contributing reviewer at Horror Spotlight. You can find Teresa on Goodreads, and on Twitter.

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